The European Union (EU) remained one of the leading providers of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam in 2013, with a total 456 million EUR (619.8 million USD) disbursed during last year.

According to an annual report on EU development cooperation in Vietnam released in Hanoi on June 25, the funding focused on institution building, technology transfer, infrastructure development and health.

Between 2007 and 2013, the EU disbursed a total of 3.6 billion EUR (4.89 billion USD), of which, 55 percent were non-refundable aid, making it the biggest provider of non-refundable ODA to Vietnam.

In 2014, the 28-member bloc has pledged to provide the country with 542 million EUR (736.7 million USD), with 24 percent in non-refundable aid and the remainder in loans (76 percent).

Franze Jessen, Ambassador-Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, said bilateral EU-Vietnam cooperation has helped the Southeast Asian country reap considerable achievements in poverty reduction work and socio-economic development as well as regional and global economic integration.

In the 2014-2020 period, the EU vows to offer a higher volume of ODA to Vietnam, focusing on promoting sustainable energy development and building a law-governed State.

The EU is also Vietnam’s largest trade partner, buying around 25 billion USD worth of goods from the Southeast Asian country in 2013.

On the global scale, the EU was the world’s largest ODA provider last year despite the lingering debt crisis, with 56.6 billion EUR (76.8 billion USD) disbursed in 2013, equivalent to 52 percent of its committed ODA for the world, up 2 percent against the previous year.-VNA